The federal and state health ministers have agreed with a proposal by Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick at the COAG Health Council to work towards standardising patient safety and quality reporting data in all public and private hospitals.
According to a statement released by the QLD government on 7 August 2017, under the current legislation, private hospitals are not required to publicly report on safety and quality issues to the same extent as public hospitals.
Minister Dick said aligning safety and quality-reporting standards was integral to improving transparency and maintaining the highest quality of healthcare for patients.
“The national and international evidence is clear - the safest hospitals are underpinned by open and transparent reporting on healthcare quality and patient safety, as well as a strong and open safety culture amongst staff,” Dick said.
“That’s why the government re-established the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Service within Queensland Health last year.”
The decision of the COAG Health Council also follows the Palaszczuk Government’s release on the 4 August 2017, of a discussion paper seeking public input to reporting - Expanding Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Reporting Discussion Paper 2017.
The government says Health Consumers Queensland supports the release of the discussion paper, which canvasses bringing private hospitals into line with the patient safety reporting now done by public hospitals in QLD.
The QLD government has called for feedback by the end of October 2017, via an online survey or through submission as to whether the reporting requirements for private hospitals should be the same as those that apply to public hospitals, given that the majority of elective surgery in Queensland is carried out in private hospitals.